National Sean Day 2024 (US): Celebrating the Legacy and Contributions of the Name “Sean”

National Sean Day 2024 (US): National Sean Day is annually observed on February 1. The name Sean, an Irish male given name, is also written as “Seán” or “Séan” in Irish English. It is frequently anglicized as ‘Shaun,’ ‘Shawn,’ or ‘Shon,’ and it has origins in the Irish variants of the Hebrew name Yohanan found in the Bible. The name Sean is suitable for both males and females, with a literal translation meaning “Gracious” or “God is Merciful.”

The History of National Sean Day

Sean may have come from the French translation ‘Jean’ of ‘Yohanan.’ Since English did not have J until the late 17th century, the Irish language replaced it with S. During the Norman invasion of England in 1066, ‘Jahan/Johan’ was misprinted as ‘John’ and spoken as ‘Jean.’

The Irish aristocracy was expelled from Leinster and Munster in the 1170s when Normans from the Welsh Marches defeated them.
The Norman aristocracy, with names like ‘John’ or ‘Johan,’ replaced them, and the name evolved to “Seán” through Irish modifications.

Formerly the Gaelic equivalent of John in Scottish regions, the name ‘Seán’ has been replaced by ‘Iain’ or ‘Ian.’ The pronunciation ‘Sheáin’ is used in the Irish language, while variations like ‘Eathain,’ ‘Eoin,’ ‘Iain,’ and ‘Ian’ are common in Highland English and Scots.

Five Fascinating Facts About the Name Sean

  1. In the United States two years ago, Sean was the 336th most prevalent boy’s name.
  2. In 2020, 956 male newborns and eight female infants were given the name Sean.
  3. Sean is expected to be the given name of one in every 218,881 infant females and one in every 1,916 newborn males in 2020.
  4. Sean has a 12% probability of attending the same institution as another male with the same name.
  5. The estimated population of individuals with the name Sean is 236,738.

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Why National Sean Day 2024 is Unique

  • Names hold significance, reflecting religious or literal connotations and indicating the emotions experienced by parents during birth.
  • Name days, an ancient tradition, originated as a way to honor Christian saints and Greek deities.
  • Celebrating the day with family fosters a sense of security and affection, serving as a reminder of one’s worth and cherished status.


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